Year Authored (or revised): 


Instrumentation : 

clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello

Duration (min): 


Composer's note:  

Symbiosis, for clarinet doubling bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, and cello, was composed during the spring of 2009 for the Empyrean Ensemble. It was a pleasure writing it with the sound of Empyrean's wonderful players firmly in mind.

Websters defines symbiosis as "the close union of two dissimilar organisms." These organisms, in this case musical ideas, morph at varying rates of speed, and form new alliances. So alliances arise, flourish for a while, and shift.

As Symbiosis unfolds, musical continuities become more complex--phrases and internal sections get longer and transitions are blurred or entirely absent. Although there are clear sectional divisions marked by changes of character, rhythm, texture, and register, the story of this twelve minute piece can be likened to the continuous but not steady traversal of a large arch. I mean this as it pertains to large-scale form, rather than in terms of any long-range registral ascent. The high, bright, annunciatory music near the end of the piece is foreshadowed by earlier tonal references. Symbiosis ends with music in the uppermost register, but the way that it comes to find itself there is not straightforward.

Commissioned by Empyrean Ensemble.

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